Tag Archives: Warner Brothers

Haven Review: Batman Arkham City [Return to Arkham]

Batman Arkham City the continuation of the Batman Arkham franchise from Rock Steady. In the first installment Joker had a great plan which involved making Batman out to be a terrible monster like the Joker himself but ultimately it backfired.

Now the story continues and Quincy Sharp the old warden of Arkham Asylum is now the Mayor of Gotham City and from it he created Arkham City a place for all the mentally deranged, criminally insane and all around scum of Gotham to be imprisoned in.

Throw into this prison run by a Professor Hugo Strange the inmates are left to go about their own business. With the return of the famous voice crew again from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamil and Tara Strong reprising their roles again for Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

Now like its predecessor the musical score is on point bringing a great depth and also grim atmosphere to the area. Where Batman is forced to fight for his life and learn the truth behind Arkham City before countless lives are lost to a madman who lurks in the shadows.

Now in Arkham Asylum you could only travel upon the island where the Asylum was. In this installment of the franchise Rocksteady has given us a more open world environment filled with buildings and the chance to explore quite a few of them. However the scale of the open world is still quite limited but at the time of the games release unless you are comparing to Skyrim the game’s map is quite huge.

However like its predecessor it still heavily relies on the two buttons used for combat one for attack and the other for countering. Although this makes it simple for new comers still, the combat is still a bit lacking. Although at times you will have to use two other buttons in conjunction with each other it still doesn’t offer any improvements.

The story of Arkham City though remains very on point, offering a new glimpse at old enemies and new enemies from Batman’s rogues gallery with Mr.Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and even Catwoman joining the party. Catwoman being a particularly important character that you play as through a portion of the story.

Visually the game is breath taking, both original and remastered the game remains perfect in its representation of what we believe Gotham City should look like from the grim undertones we have been told about it. A place where villains like the Joker and Penguin fight to rule the place and cause chaos.

The game overall shows us and brings to life everything we have expected from Batman from the city he protects, to the villains he fights and people he protects. Like the character jumped from a comic book and into our gaming systems capturing the essence of Batman so well that the differences between comic and game character are almost indistinguishable.

Like its predecessor its a game I hope comic book fans and even non fans buy and enjoy. Weather it be the original copy or the Return to Arkham edition the game is worth it, and worth every penny.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Mortal Kombat XL

Mortal-Kombat-XLFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Now I know a lot of people grew up with Mortal Kombat. I for one mainly played it at my local pizza joint growing up…that and Street Fighter. I never really did get into the former; not because of how gruesome the games are and not that I have a issue with blood, it’s just not my thing in general. I prefer more vibrant games, like the latter.

However going into this version of Mortal Kombat, I knew it wouldn’t be the game I played as a child. I loaded it up and started playing.mkxl_launchscreenshot_alien Right from the start my ears were almost blown out by how loud the game was, even on low settings! But I was impressed at what came next with the clans, and how players can increase how far their clans can progress on a global basis. I haven’t noticed anything like this so far in this game’s primary competitor, Street Fighter V, and so I really enjoyed it. I even picked the White Lotus, not because of Raiden, but because the same group exists in Avatar: The Last Airbender. So I figured why not, right?

Afterwards, I wanted to try out the mechanics and how the game handled. I saw the selection of characters, including Alien, Predator, Jason Voorhees and Johnny Cage. Now keep in mind, I know almost nothing about the plot and the characters, outside of the fact that I know Johnny Cage is hilarity incarnate. I was also really happy to see characters I know, not only from other game series but also from movies; Predator and Alien at the forefront. That gave me something to take the game a bit more seriously.neon_0001_540h

So I picked Alien, loaded up the game and gave it a try. I was amazed at just how smooth and fine-tuned the mechanics are. They’re infinitely better than the issues I faced in Street Fighter V, and after talking with a friend who happens to own both, he agreed. I found the visuals of the game stunning as well, even more so with the fatalities and the amount of detail that went to traditional Mortal Kombat animations. All that work just stood out to me and I loved playing it.

But this is a review, so I can’t just focus on only combat. Stepping away from that I decided to take a look into the “Krypt”, as it’s called. It seems like turning “Cs” into “Ks” hasn’t lost its charm. Once I loaded up the Krypt I was given some Koins…yep, charm.mkx_kombat_pack_2.0.0

However while I was there, I noticed the game changes things up. Instead of being a fighting game, I was given this dungeon explorer feel where I could venture around and break statues. You can unlock extra content by spending Koins (like making fatalities easier to pull off). I found it an interesting concept but remained unimpressed by its implications. Nothing about it made it really stand out to me and I found it kind of boring. Their current setup has me walking around, not knowing how much each statue will cost to break open. It wound up being more confusing than it should have been. However I must say, that in the “extras” they not only give tribute to the concept art drawn for the game, but they also included fan-art. This includes a cosplay picture or two, and a few other tidbits. I honestly think this is really cool.7600eb53-741b-42ba-bcb3-b04e39d84819._CB327985138_

The fact that a game company would go out of their way to show some level of appreciation to fans of their franchise is something you don’t really see that often. In the end though, I actually had a great time playing Mortal Combat XL; more so than I had with Street Fighter V. It runs smoother, controls great and the announcer is as loud as ever…just as he was back on the classic arcade machines!

If you can stomach the levels of gore, I recommend picking it up and playing it. White Lotus for the win all the way!

-Daniel Clatworthy-
MortalCombat

Haven Review: Mad Max

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

There once was a man named Bruce Wayne who owned a multi-billion dollar conglomerate and was also named Batman; a real hero. But as it turned out, his latest video game iteration was complete trash on the PC.Mad_Max_Gameplay_Overview_Trailer-mp4-1429805396900_mp4_Still001-1429904983413

Now there was also a man named Max who was quite mad, you see. He also had a PC game…jokingly called the “Australian Simulator”…and let me tell you, despite both games coming from the same publisher, Mad Max is infinitely better than Batman: Arkham Knight on the PC.

Now Mad Max the game is based around the Mad Max movie franchise, following the exploits of well, Max. In the game, besides searching for water, you take out enemies in the most bad ass way possible; your aim: to steal your car back.

The game itself is made quite well  and despite my fairly dated hardware (a first generation i7 and an Nvidia GTX 590), I am pushing an easy 40 to 60 frames per second from it. Not to mention it’s on high graphics settings for the most part, which is a good show of quality.gameplay-screenshot-2

The visuals for the game are simply breathtaking and leave me wanting more, to the point where I want to buy all the movies. Right now I only know about Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m also really loving the voice acting and menu layout for the game, as it’s easy and straightforward to understand. It doesn’t feel convoluted like a lot of other games out there.

The musical score for the game is simply one of the best I’ve heard in a while; it’s really well done. Those merits alone for me make the game really enjoyable, as do the seamless cut scenes that are shown during game play.Mad Max_20150902132048 Although I’m half Australian myself, I’ve never been to the Outback. However I feel, even in a comical sense, that I’m connecting with my family’s roots. Now despite all the positives, I do have one small negative about the title: side missions can take an awfully long time to complete. If you like time-consuming activities however, you may actually enjoy this feature! At the end of the day I have nothing better to do, so side missions here I come.

Overall, even if you aren’t a fan of the movies and just want to play a really good game, this would be a good title to pick up. I really recommend checking it out if you find a spare allotment of funds laying around.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Mad